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New Zealand soldier who won the Victoria Cross twice

Updated on July 1, 2015

A Modest Hero, A Model of Bravery

Charles Hazlitt Upham is a man to look up to as he exhibited the qualities of a warrior and of a human being par excellence. He went to war because of a sense of justice, led his men "from the front" and with a courage that few others could match and with an audacity that sparks admiration in any human heart. If we all led our lives with the spirit that he displayed, the world would be a much better place.

And on his return home, he returned to the land. the people of New Zealand raised money for him to buy a farm. He refused it for that purpose, but put it to use for a scholarship for children of ex-servicemen to study at Lincoln College or at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. Back then it was the right thing to do. Right now it would be acceptable to keep the money. Have values changed over the years?

My Superhero is...

Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham VC and bar, New Zealand Soldier and farmer

His life is well enough covered in the book "Mark of the Lion" by Sanford and is summarized adequately in Wikipedia. I will not add anything, I am merely bringing to you all the sources in one place so you can take in the quality of this man.

What I've learned from this person

Live life to the full and in the service of others. Be not concerned about yourself, but about those under your command and in your care.

When I look back at the type of man who lived in the 1940's, I see a tough individual, hardened by the depression, and very aware that you had to make your own way so as to not be a burden on others. When the war came, men volunteered up because they believed in the duty they had to serve King and Country and to help Britain in its time of need,

Things were very simple then. No iPhones, computers or TV to entertain you. You entertained yourself by getting with friends at home and work and discussing whatever was in the newspaper or the gossip of the town. If a fellow needed help, it was usually provided as enough to get him back on his own two feet.

People left their houses open as no-body dreamed of stealing or of taking advantage of another's property. In fact, items that had strayed were returned to their owner.

A totally different world to the one we have now.

My favorite quote or saying from this person...

When informed of the award, his first response was: "It's meant for the men."

"Mark of the Lion" - The life of Charles Hazlitt Upham

The best book I have read about Charles Upham

Readers: What do you think of my Superhero?

A soldier who has passed through the crucible of war and arrived the other side with honour intact and with exemplary achievement is the mark of a strong character. You might find this character in the business leader and the sports hero as well, except that the soldier has taken a bigger step by putting his life on the line where the pressure to not meet the ideals of honour and integrity are intensified.

Is a soldier a suitable hero to look up to

tribute to Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham VC and bar - A leader of men with honour and integrity

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      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      Nice lens, very interesting. I just did a lens on collecting WWII memorabilia, so I thought I would check out some other military history lenses.